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Mirror Lake exit on Glenn Highway will remain closed until spring

Southbound drivers will have to use detour for the rest of the winter
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:52 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A semi-permanent closed sign now hangs on the southbound Mirror Lake exit sign on the Glenn Highway as safety remains a concern for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The closure, which will last until spring, comes in the middle of a two-year project for the department that’s aimed at repairing a section of the road that was damaged by the 2018 earthquake.

“This area really needed a good repair and that’s what this is,” said Shannon McCarthy, state communications director for the transportation department. “It’s actually really helping the structural integrity of the roadway underneath the pavement.”

The project created an intentional narrow shift to the left side of the Glenn right at the Mirror Lake exit so that the department could leave the exit open for commuters. But weather conditions have made lane visibility poor in that shift.

“We’ve had blowing snow conditions, and then we had rain — freezing rain,” McCarthy said. “... The pavement markings really got ground out with, you know, sand and plowing and all that kind of stuff. It became more difficult for drivers to see and delineate the lane that they were in.”

After safety and project staff assessed the area, it was determined that more delineation and pavement markings are needed, but the product used can only be put down in the warmest of conditions. The southbound Mirror Lake exit will remain closed through the rest of the winter. On average, 110 vehicles use the southbound exit daily, McCarthy said.

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